PART THREE ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS OF THE STATE
1. The number of the Members of Parliament shall be specified by statute; it cannot, however, be below two hundred or over three hundred.
2. The Members of Parliament represent the Nation.
3. The Members of Parliament shall be elected through direct, universal and secret ballot by the citizens who have the right to vote, as specified by law. The law cannot abridge the right to vote except in cases where a minimum age has not been attained or in cases of legal incapacity or as a result of irrevocable criminal conviction for certain felonies.
4. Parliamentary elections shall be held simultaneously throughout the State.
Matters pertaining to the exercise of the right to vote by persons living outside the Country may be specified by law.
5. The exercise of the right to vote shall be compulsory. Exceptions and criminal sanctions shall be specified each time by law.
The free and unfalsified expression of the popular will as an expression of popular sovereignty, shall be guaranteed by all State officers who shall be obliged to ensure such under all circum- stances. Criminal sanctions for violations of this provision shall be specified by law.
1. The Members of Parliament shall be elected for a term of four consecutive years, commencing on the day of the general elections. Upon expiration of the parliamentary term, there shall be proclaimed by presidential decree countersigned by the Cabinet, general parliamentary elections to be held within thirty days and the convocation of the new Parliament in regular session within another thirty days.
2. A parliamentary seat that has become vacant during the last year of a parliamentary term shall not be filled by a by-election, where such is required by law, as long as the number of vacant seats does not exceed one-fifth of the total number of the Members of Parliament.
3. In case of war, the parliamentary term shall be extended for the entire duration thereof. If Parliament has been dissolved, elections shall be postponed until the termination of the war and the Parliament dissolved shall be recalled ipso jure until that time.
1. The electoral system and election districts shall be specified by law.
2. The number of Members of Parliament elected in each electoral district shall be specified by presidential decree on the basis of the legal population thereof, as it appears in the latest census.
3. Part of the Parliament, comprising not more than the one twentieth of the total number of its members, may be elected throughout the Country at large in proportion to the total electoral strength of each party throughout the Country, as specified by law.
1. To be elected as Member of Parliament, one must be a Greek citizen, have the legal capacity to vote and have attained the age of twenty-five years on the day of the election.
2. A Member of Parliament deprived of any of the above qualifications shall forfeit his parliamentary office ipso jure.
1. Salaried civil functionaries and servants or officers of the armed forces and the security corps, employees of local government agencies or other public law legal persons, mayors and community presidents, governors or chairmen of the boards of directors of public law legal persons or of public or municipal enterprises, notaries public, registrars of mortgages and transfers may neither stand for election nor be elected to Parliament if they have not resigned from the said offices prior to their nomination. Such resignations shall be valid upon written submission thereof. Military officers who have resigned may under no circumstances return to active service; the return of civil functionaries and servants to their posts in prohibited prior to the lapse of one year from their resignation.
2. Professors of institutions of university level are exempt from the restrictions of the preceding paragraph. The exercise of the duties of professor shall be suspended for the duration of the parliamentary term and the manner of replacement of professors elected to Parliament shall be specified by law.
3. Salaried civil servants, military officers on active service and officers of the security corps, employees of public law legal persons in general, and governors and employees of public and community enterprises or public welfare institutions may not stand for election nor be elected to Parliament in any election district in which they have served for more than three months in the three years preceding elections. Persons who have served as secretaries general of ministries during the last six months of the four-year parliamentary term shall be subject to the same restrictions. Persons nominated as State Deputies and the lower personnel of the central State services shall not be subject to the same restrictions.
4. Civil servants and the military in general, having undertaken the obligation by law to remain in service for a certain period of time, may not stand for election nor be elected to Parliament during the period of such obligation.
1. The duties of Members of Parliament shall be incompatible with the duties or the capacity of member of a board of directors, governor, general manager or their alternates, or those of employee of commercial company or enterprise enjoying special privileges or subsidies by the State, or to which concession of public enterprise has been granted.
2. Members of Parliament falling within the provisions of the preceding paragraph must, within eight days of the day on which their election becomes final, state their choice between their parliamentary office and the above stated duties. Failing to make the said statement within the set limit, they shall forfeit their parliamentary office ipso jure.
3. Members of Parliament who accept any of the functions or duties specified in this or the preceding article as constituting a disqualification for parliamentary candidates or as incompatible with the parliamentary office shall forfeit that office ipso jure.
4. Members of Parliament may not undertake commissions, studies, or the execution of works for the State, local government agencies or other public law legal persons or of public or municipal enterprises or leases of public or municipal taxes or rent real estate owned by the aforementioned bodies or accept any form of concessions on such real estate. Violators of the provisions of the present paragraph shall forfeit their parliamentary office and related acts shall be null and void. Such acts shall also be null and void when concluded by commercial companies or enterprises in which the Member of Parliament acts as director or administrative or legal counsellor or if he participates as a partner with full or limited liability.
5. The manner of continuation or transfer or dissolution of contracts for the execution of works and studies specified in paragraph 4 and undertaken by a Member of Parliament before his election, shall be specified by law.
The hearing of objections raised against the validity of parliamentary elections and their verification concerning either electoral violations related to the conduct of the elections, or the lack of legal qualifications, is assigned to the Supreme Special Court of article 100.
1. Before undertaking the discharge of their duties, Members of Parliament shall take the following oath in the Chamber and in a public sitting.
"I swear in the name of the Holy Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity to keep faith in my Country and in the democratic form of government, obedience to the Constitution and the laws and to discharge conscientiously my duties".
2. Members of Parliament who are of a different religion or creed shall take the same oath according to the form of their own religion or creed.
3. Members of Parliament proclaimed elected in the absence of Parliament shall take the oath in the Section in session.
1. Members of Parliament enjoy unrestricted freedom of opinion and right to vote according to their conscience.
2. The resignation from parliamentary office is a right of the Member of Parliament and is effectuated as soon as the Member of Parliament submits a written declaration to the Speaker of the Parliament; this declaration is irrevocable.
1. A Member of Parliament shall not be prosecuted or in any way interrogated for an opinion expressed or a vote cast by him in the discharge of his parliamentary duties.
2. A Member of Parliament may be prosecuted only for libel, according to the law, after leave has been granted by Parliament. The Court of Appeals shall be competent to hear the case. Such leave is deemed to be conclusively denied if Parliament does not decide within forty-five days from the date the charges have been submitted to the Speaker. In case of refusal to grant leave or if the time-limit lapses without action, no charge can be brought for the act committed by the Member of Parliament.
This paragraph shall be applicable as of the next parliamentary session.
3. A Member of Parliament shall not be liable to testify on information given to him or supplied by him in the course of the discharge of his duties, or on the persons who entrusted the information to him or to whom he supplied such information.
During the parliamentary term the Members of Parliament shall not be prosecuted, arrested, imprisoned or otherwise confined without prior leave granted by Parliament. Likewise, a member of a dissolved Parliament shall not be prosecuted for political crimes during the period between the dissolution of Parliament and the declaration of the election of the members of the new Parliament. Leave shall be deemed not granted if Parliament does not decide within three months of the date the request for prosecution by the public prosecutor was transmitted to the Speaker.
The three month limit is suspended during the Parliament's recess.
No leave is required when Members of Parliament are caught in the act of committing a felony.
1. For the discharge of their duties, Members of Parliament shall be entitled to receive compensation and expenses from the State; the amount of both shall be determined by the Plenum of the Parliament.
2. Members of Parliament shall enjoy exemption from transportation, postal and telephone charges, the extent of which shall be determined by decision of the Parliament in plenary session.
3. In case of unjustified absence of a member for more than five sittings per month, one-thirtieth of his monthly compensation shall be withheld for each absence.
1. The Parliament shall convene, ipso jure, on the first Monday of the month of October of each year in a regular session to conduct its annual business, unless convoked at an earlier date by the President of the Republic, in accordance with Article 40.
2. The duration of a regular session shall not be shorter than five months, not including the time of suspension specified in Article 40.
A regular session is compulsorily extended until the budget is authorized in accordance with article 79 or until the special law provided in the same article is passed.
1. Parliament shall determine the manner of its free and democratic operation by adopting its own Standing Orders; these shall be adopted by the Plenum as specified in Article 76 and shall be published in the Government Gazette on the order of the Speaker.
2. Parliament shall elect from among its members the Speaker and the other members of the Presidium as provided by the Stand- ing Orders.
3. The Speaker and Deputy Speakers shall be elected at the beginning of each parliamentary term.
This provision shall not apply to the Speaker and Deputy Speakers elected by the first session of the Fifth Revisionary Parliament.
On a recommendation by fifty Members the Parliament may reprimand the Speaker or a member of the Presidium thus causing the termination of his tenure.
4. The Speaker directs the business of Parliament; he cares to ensure the unhindered conduct of the business, safeguards the freedom of opinion and expression of the Members of Parliament and the maintenance of order. He is entitled to resort even to disciplinary measures against a member misbehaving as speci-fied by the Standing Orders.
5. A scientific research service to the Parliament may be established through the Standing Orders to assist Parliament in its legislative work.
6. The Standing Orders shall determine the organization of the services of the Parliament under the supervision of the Speaker; all matters concerning its personnel shall likewise be regulated. Acts of the Speaker concerning the appointment and the professional status of the personnel of the Parliament shall be subject to recourse on points of act and points of law or petition for annulment lodged with the Supreme Administrative Court.
1. The Parliament shall hold public sittings in the Chamber; however, upon the Government's petition or upon the petition of fifteen Members of Parliament and pursuant to a majority decision reached in a closed meeting, the Parliament may deliberate behind closed doors. Thereafter Parliament shall resolve whether the debate on the same subject shall be repeated in an open sitting.
2. Ministers and Undersecretaries shall be free to attend the sittings of Parliament and shall be heard whenever they request the floor.
3. Parliament and parliamentary committees may request Mini- sters or Undersecretaries to be present when discussing matters for which they are competent.
Parliamentary committees are entitled to invite, through the competent Minister, any public officer considered useful in conducting their business.
Parliament cannot resolve without an absolute majority of the members present, which in no case may be less than one-fourth of the total number of the Members of Parliament.
In the case of a tie vote, the vote shall be repeated; in the case of a second tie the proposal shall be rejected.
1. At the beginning of each regular session, Parliament shall set up committees composed of Members of Parliament for the study and examination of Bills and law proposals falling within the jurisdiction of the Plenum of the Parliament and of its Sections.
2. Parliament shall set up investigation committees from a-mong its members by a resolution supported by two-fifths of the total number of members, on the proposal of one-fifth of the total number of members.
A parliamentary resolution adopted by an absolute majority of the total number of members shall be required in order to set up investigation committees on matters related to foreign policy and national defence.
Details pertaining to the composition and operation of such committees shall be provided by the Standing Orders.
3. Parliamentary and investigation committees, as well as Sections of Parliament specified in articles 70 and 71 shall be established in proportion to the strength of parties, groups and independents, as specified by the Standing Orders.
No person shall appear at his own initiative before the Parliament to make an oral or written report. Reports shall be presented through a member or shall be handed over to the Speaker. Parliament shall have the right to forward any reports addressed thereto to the Ministers and Undersecretaries who shall be obliged to offer explanations when so requested.
1. The Parliament shall conduct its legislative business in Plenum.
2. The Standing Orders shall provide for the exercise of the legislative business specified therein to be conducted also by Sections, which are not to exceed the number of two, subject to the restrictions of article 72. The composition and operation of Sections shall be decided at the beginning of each session by an absolute majority of the total number of Members of Parliament.
3. The Standing Orders shall likewise determine by Ministries the distribution of competence among the Sections.
4. Unless otherwise stated, the provisions of the Constitution concerning Parliament shall apply to its functioning either in Plenum or in Sections.
5. The adoption of a resolution by a Section shall require a majority of not less than two-fifths of the number of members in the Section.
6. Parliamentary control shall be exercised by the Plenum at least twice each week, as specified by the Standing Orders.
When Parliament is in recess, its legislative business, with the exception of statutes belonging to the competence of the Plenum as specified in article 72, shall be conducted by a Section of Parliament, established and operating as specified in article 68 paragraph 3 and article 70.
The Standing Orders may provide for the examination of Bills by a Parliamentary Committee composed of members of the same Section.
1. Parliament in full session debates and votes on its Standing Orders, on Bills pertaining to the election of Members of Parliament, on the subjects of articles 3, 13, 27, 28 and 36 paragraph 1, on the exercise and protection of individual rights, on the operation of political parties, on the granting of legislative power according to article 43 paragraph 4, on the liability of Ministers, on the state of siege, on the civil list of the President of the Republic and on the authentic interpretation of the laws according to article 77 and on every other matter referred to Parliament in full session by special provision of the Constitution or on matters for the provision of which a special majority is required.
The Parliament in Plenum shall also authorize the budget and the financial statement of the State and of Parliament.
2. Debates and votes in principle, by article and as a whole on all other Bills or law proposals may be assigned to a Section of Parliament, as specified in Article 70.
3. A Section assuming the voting of a Bill shall have the power to resolve definitely on its competence and is entitled to refer any dispute over its competence to the Plenum by resolution adopted by the absolute majority of the total number of its members. A resolution of the Plenum shall be binding on the Sections.
4. The Government may introduce a Bill of major importance for debate and voting in the Plenum instead of the Sections.
5. The Plenum of Parliament may demand, by resolution adopted by the absolute majority of the total number of members, that a Bill pending before a Section may be debated and passed in principle, by article, and as a whole by the full assembly.
1. The right to introduce Bills belongs to the Parliament and the Government.
2. Bills pertaining in any way to the granting of a pension and the prerequisites thereof shall be introduced only by the Minister of Finance after an opinion of the Court of Auditors; in the case of pensions burdening on the budget of local government agencies or other public law legal persons, Bills shall be submitted by the competent Minister and the Minister of Finance. Pensions must be proposed by means of special Bills; the insertion of provisions pertaining to pensions, in Bills introduced in order to regulate other matters, is not permitted under penalty of nullity.
3. No Bill or amendment or addition which originated in Parliament shall be introduced for debate if it results in an expenditure or a reduction of revenues or assets for the State or local government agencies or other public law legal persons, for the purpose of paying a salary or pension or otherwise benefiting a person.
4. However, an amendment or addition introduced by a party leader or a spokesman of a parliamentary group as specified in article 74 paragraph 3 shall be acceptable in the case of Bills concerning the organization of public services and agencies of public interest, the status of public servants in general, military and security corps officers, employees of local government agencies or other public law legal persons and public enterprises in general.
5. Bills introducing local or special taxes or charges of any nature on behalf of agencies or public or private law legal persons must be countersigned by the Minister of Coordination and the Minister of Finance.
1. Every Bill must be accompanied by an explanatory report; before it is introduced to the Plenum or to a Section of Parliament, it may be referred, for legislative elaboration, to the service defined in article 65 paragraph 5 as soon as this service is established, as specified by the Standing Orders.
2. Bills tabled in Parliament shall be referred to the appropriate Parliamentary Committee. When the report has been submitted or when the time-limit for its submittal has elapsed inactively, the Bill shall be introduced for debate to Parliament after three days, unless it has been designated as urgent by the competent Minister. The debate shall begin following an oral introduction by the competent Minister and the rapporteurs of the committee.
3. Amendments submitted by Members of Parliament, to Bills for which the Plenum or the Sections of Parliament are competent, shall not be introduced for debate if they have not been submitted up to and including the day prior to the commencement of the debate, unless the Government consents to such a debate.
4. A Bill for the amendment of a provision of a statute shall not be introduced for debate if the accompanying explanatory report does not contain the full text of the provision to be amended and if the text of the Bill does not contain the full text of the new provision as amended.
5. A Bill containing provisions not related to its main subject matter shall not be introduced for debate.
No addition or amendment shall be introduced for debate if it is not related to the main subject matter of the Bill.
Parliament shall resolve in case of contestation.
6. Once every month, on a day designated by the Standing Orders, pending private Members' Bills shall be entered by priority in the order of the day and debated.
1. Any Bill which results in burdening the Budget, if submitted by Ministers, shall not be introduced for debate unless it is accompanied by a report of the General Accounting Office speci-fying the amount of the expenditure involved; if submitted by Members of Parliament, prior to any debate thereon it shall be forwarded to the General Accounting Office which shall be bound to submit a report within fifteen days. Should this time-limit elapse without action, the private Member's Bill shall be introduced for debate without it.
2. The same shall apply for amendments, if so requested by the competent Ministers. In this case, the General Accounting Office shall be bound to submit its report to Parliament within three days; only if the report shall not be forthcoming within this time-limit may the amendment be debated without it.
3. A Government's Bill resulting in an expenditure or a reduction of revenues shall not be introduced for debate unless it is accompanied by a special report specifying the manner in which they will be covered, signed by the competent Minister and the Minister of Finance.
1. Every Bill introduced to the Plenum or the Sections of Parliament shall be debated and voted on once in principle, by article and as a whole.
2. Exceptionally, Bills shall be debated and voted on by the Plenum of Parliament twice and in two sittings, at least two days apart; in principle and by article during the first debate, and by article and as a whole during the second, if this should be requested, prior to the debate on the principle, by one-third of its total members.
3. If in the course of the debate, amendments have been proposed and accepted, voting on the Bill as a whole shall be postponed for twenty-four hours from the time the amended Bill was distributed.
4. A Bill designated as very urgent by the Government shall be introduced for voting after a limited debate among the rapporteurs involved, the Prime Minister or the competent Minister, the leaders of parties represented in Parliament and one spokesman for each party. The duration of speeches and the time for the debate may be limited by the Standing Orders.
5. The Government may request that a Bill of particular importance or of an urgent nature be debated in a specific number of sittings, not to exceed three. Parliament may prolong the debate through two additional sittings on the proposal of one-tenth of the total number of Members of Parliament. The duration of each speech shall be specified by the Standing Orders.
6. Judicial or administrative codes drafted by special committees established under special statutes may be voted through in the Plenum of the Parliament by a special statute ratifying the code as a whole.
7. Likewise, legislative provisions in force may be codified by simple classification, or repealed statutes may be reenacted as a whole, with the exception of statutes concerning taxation.
8. A Bill rejected by the Plenum or a Section of Parliament shall not be introduced anew in the same session or to the Section functioning after the end of the session.
1. The authentic interpretation of the statutes shall rest with the legislative power.
2. A statute which is not truly interpretative shall enter into force only as of its publication.
1. No tax shall be levied without a statute enacted by Parliament, specifying the subject of taxation and the income, the type of property, the expenses and the transactions or categories thereof to which the tax pertains.
2. A tax or any other financial charge may not be imposed by a retroactive statute effective prior to the fiscal year preceding the imposition of the tax.
3. Exceptionally, in the case of imposition or increase of an import or export duty or a consumer tax, collection thereof shall be permitted as of the date on which the Bill shall be tabled in Parliament, on condition that the statute shall be published within the time-limit specified in article 42 paragraph 1, and in any case not later than ten days from the end of the Parliamentary session.
4. The object of taxation, the tax rate, the tax abatements and exemptions and the granting of pensions may not be subject to legislative delegation.
This prohibition does not preclude the determination by law of the manner of assessing the share of the State or public agencies in general in the automatic increase on value of private real estate property adjoining the site of construction of public works and resulting exclusively therefrom.
5. It shall, exceptionally, be permitted to impose by means of delegation granted in framework by statute, balancing or counteractive charges or duties, and to impose, within the framework of the country's international relations to economic organizations, economic measures or measures concerning the safeguarding of the country's foreign exchange position.
1. In the course of its ordinary annual session Parliament shall vote on the State budget of revenues and expenditures for the following year.
2. All State revenues and expenditures must be entered in the annual budget and financial statement.
3. The budget shall be introduced to the Parliament by the Minister of Finance at least one month before the beginning of the fiscal year and shall be voted as specified by the Standing Orders, which shall also ensure the right of every political section in Parliament to express its views.
4. Should the administration of revenues and expenditures as provided in the budget be inoperative for any reason whatsoever, they shall be administered in accordance with a special statute to be enacted every time.
5. Should it be impossible to vote the budget or to pass the special statute defined in the preceding paragraph due to the end of the Parliamentary term, the force of the budget for the fiscal year just ended or ending shall be extended for four months by decree issued upon proposal of the Cabinet.
6. The practice of drafting budgets for bi-annual fiscal periods may be established by statute.
7. The financial statement and general balance sheet of the State shall be laid before Parliament not later than one year from the end of each fiscal year; these shall be examined by a special parliamentary committee and ratified by Parliament as provided by the Standing Orders.
8. Economic and social development plans shall be approved by the Plenum of the Parliament as specified by statute.
1. No salary, pension, subsidy or remuneration shall be entered in the State budget or granted, unless it is provided for by statute concerning the organization or other special statute.
2. The minting or issuing of currency shall be regulated by law.
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